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Lord Teach Us to Pray

Lord Teach Us to Pray

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Published by: Rev. J. Patrick Bowman on Apr 16, 2012
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11/07/2012

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Lord, Teach Us to Prayby Janice BowmanApril 2012I believe now more than ever in the history of the church that we, like the first 12 apostles, should befeeling within ourselves a great urgency to ask our Lord to teach us to pray. Like other watchmen whoare the minority on the subject of judgment from God coming to the people of God first and not to
those outside of the church, I am feeling more and more pressed by the Holy Spirit to say, “ Wake up
foolish, sleeping virgins, for the bride groom comes
and you are not making yourselves ready.” I know
that God has a small remnant among His people who are listening to what the Spirit is saying to the
churches, although many of God’s people are sleeping and see no need for God to send judgment
among His people.Here in America, the majority of our churches have experienced much freedom to worship withoutpersecution. Is this because God is so pleased with us or because we have been so lukewarm andineffective in our witness as to draw persecution to us? Could it be, as the apostle Paul characterized itin his day, that we have not yet striven against sin unto blood? In other words, have we saved our livesand compromised the truth in order to have the kind of life style we now have? Have we been so carefulto not say or do anything that would make people angry with us to the point they want to shut us up or
do us harm? Have we done what we consider the “reasonable” sacrifice of Romans 12:1 but neglected
the unreasonable sacrifice that the message of the cross actually calls us to?
Our freedom of religion is not necessarily God’s stamp of approval on us, but more likely a time of grace
to judge ourselves, lest we be judged. We as a nation are increasingly seeing the noose tightenedaround our necks, but many in the church are as oblivious to it as the inhabitants of Jerusalem were astheir destroyers surrounded the city. A majority of the prayer rooms in churches are devoid of thosewho weep and travail at the altar, c
rying out to God to turn His people back to Him because they don’tfeel we’ve turned away from Him. It is one thing to be in the very dangerous position of backsliding, but
it is even more dangerous to be in denial of it. A full lamp of oil, without the prudence to bring more oil,is not going to get us through the trying times that are upon us.The ministry of intercession has all but become extinct in the church. Where are those who will actuallyallow the Holy Spirit to seize them that He might teach His people to pray
with
him rather than praying
to
him? Prayer has become, for the most part, an exercise in telling God what we want rather thanallowing Him to put us under the burden of what He wants. I am convinced that most people who willallow the Spirit to weep and travail in them and through them would be told they are disturbing theprayer meeting with this sort of strange unreasonable behavior. Most who engage this sort of intercession do it alone at home because much of the church sees this kind of praying as a realembarrassment. They would probably be asked not to come again or some may even be accused of having demons. Much of the church has no clue about this kind of praying because there is little or noteaching on it. I personally have never been taught in any church about intercessory prayer. I can only
 
equate this to a lack of attention to the Holy Spirit’s agenda. The church is where prayer should be
taught and ministries of this kind of intercession should be honored and promoted, not relegated to aback room where the congregation is shielded from the sight and sound of true intercessory travail.There is a lot of holy laughter in the church today and I certainly will not criticize holy laughter and the joy of the Lord coming on His people. But oh, how sad, ignorant, and neglectful we have become to notsee the many hours others prayed their hearts out; wept, cried, and travailed in much pain alone insecret places, so those who never laughed may be able to do so. There are generals of intercession thechurch has never seen, honored, or acknowledged as an important joint that supplies. Those that reap in joy are often the products of those who sow in tears. In much prayer they plowed up the stony and hardground that was once the heart of many. They weeded the spiritual garden, dying out to self in theirprivate prayer closets, so others could experience the harvest. These are not people who say a fewshort prayers and are done with it. These are people who are seasoned generals in a ministry of intercession for the church and the world. They are watchmen on the walls and the church cannotafford not to listen when God shows the hidden things in tough places of prayer. Many of them areprophets who, like Moses, plead with God not to destroy a rebellious people. Like Moses, they plead for
our very lives and change God’s mind, reminding God of His faithfulness.
We need to know those who labor among us as true intercessors. Faithfull intercessors are a lot morethan little old ladies who do
n’t do anything but pray. I suggest that if you ever have the rare privilege of 
being around an old person whom you hear weeping and praying their hearts out, you skip all theseminary classes that teach you about prayer and hunker down next to one of these seasoned old soulsand learn from them. They will teach you far beyond any seminary class on how to pray.When I was a very young girl, I watched my grandmother retreat to her bedroom everyday to pray.Often, when I was supposed to be napping, I would sit outside her bedroom door in wonderment. As Ilistened, sometimes for hours, I often heard many different languages come out of her. I would hear her
weeping for others and knew that something was going to get done. I didn’t know what, but I knew
something, in some situation, was going to get confronted because Grandma was on the job. And thenmany times she would be at it again at night.One time my mother got into a very serious car accident. She was hit from the front and then from theback by two speeding cars and she was smashed like a pancake. Upon arrival at the hospital, she was
thought to be dead. But grandma told us she would intercede for our mom, because she couldn’t die
and leave us orphans. I will never forget the way grandma sounded that night and well into the nextmorning in that prayer room of hers. I have no words to describe that kind of praying, but that day wegot a phone call telling us my mother was going to live and not die. My mother was on the operatingtable and heard the doctors saying there was no use in continuing with treatment, as it was too late. Asthe story goes, mom suddenly sat up straight and told the doctors they better put her back togetherbecause she had four children waiting for her at home. So the chief docto
r said, “You heard the lady!” Ihave no doubt my grandmother’s prayers raised my mother from the dead.
 

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